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'And then I heard his voice reminding me of how I had tripped and hit my head, had fallen in the pool and drowned, and that's why my clothes had been wet, and... Dead. That was main word I heard. I was dead.'
Pierce Oliviera knows what it's like to die. When she was 15, she slipped and fell into the swimming pool in her garden, and drowned. Pierce finds herself standing on the edge of a lake, with crowds of other people, standing in lines, not knowing what's going on. But she see's him, the man she met in the Isla Huesos Cemetery years before, at her Grandfather's funeral. Relieved to have found someone she recognises, she rushes over to him, only to be moved into the line that nobody wants to be in.
John, the man she recognised, is a death deity, charged with ferrying souls to their final resting place. It's his job to decide if they go to a good place, or a bad place. John wants Pierce to spend the rest of eternity with him, but terrified Pierce manages to escape, when she is revived in hospital. But John won't give up. He always appears when Pierce is in trouble, warning her to stay away from the Isla Huesos Cemetery. And the reason for this warning becomes all too clear to Pierce, when she discovers that somebody close to her, isn't all that they seem.
I picked this book up in the library, when I had some time to kill one day, since I liked the look of the cover. When I saw that it was written by Meg Cabot, I was intrigued, since I'd only read her Princess Diaries books, and this is a much darker story, aimed at an older audience. I was immediately drawn into Pierce's life; the trials that she's faced every day since she died, the rumours that circulated around School about her, and her experience of the Underworld, all adding up to make her life difficult. Not to mention her parents divorce, mostly caused by Pierce's accident, and being uprooted and moving to a remote island in Florida.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It's told in first person, through Pierce, and it was a really interesting insight into her thoughts, about the Underworld, and about the world that she lives in. Her inner dialogue is entertaining; although the book has a dark and serious nature, her dialogue lightens the mood of the book. An example of this, that made me laugh is; 'I was all over the hallway like a sniffer dog at customs.' I enjoy first person stories with entertaining dialogue, giving me an insight into the thoughts and feelings of the character, from their own point of view. It also allowed me to see that Pierce had a strong character, since she was still able to make jokes out of her situation, while going through so much.
The character of John was also interesting. He also cracked a joke or two throughout the story, which is surprising, since he's been ferrying the souls of the dead for a hundred or so years. His own story is just as moving as Pierce's. He's suffered greatly for many years, and he's been waiting for Pierce his whole life. Although at times he's angry with her, he's always there when she needs his protection, making for a very touching Romance, in the middle of all the horrors that face them both.
I've already got the second book of this series from the library, and I'm looking forward to getting stuck into it, and seeing what happens to Pierce next.
Meg Cabot is the Author of the well loved series 'The Princess Diaries',as well as other books such as 'The Mediator' and 'Avalon High.' This book was quite a surprise to me, having only read her books aimed at a young audience. I thought that the story was well thought out, it had a great concept, and was delivered excellently. A thoroughly enjoyable book.
There is no one that knows for certain what happens and where you go when you die however Meg Cabot's debut in her latest young adult fantasy romance themed trilogy opens up a flurry of questions and debates about this very subject. Abandon is a first person narrative 267 page novel about that time no one really understands, that time no one really talks about, that time when Pierce Oliviera died when she was just fifteen years old but don't worry, she came back because she had hypothermia. When Pierce died she found herself at a lakeside where there were a huge number of people waiting to board the boats. In her confusion she began looking around for something familiar, something she would recognise and that is when she saw Him and He took her away from the lake, He tried to make her safe but it wasn't enough and she ran away...And then Pierce Oliveria woke up, tried to get better, watched her parents divorce and try to keep her friends away from all the evil.
The story supposedly takes place in the present yet time only moves forward about two days yet the novel tells of Pierce's entire lifetime. In a series of flashbacks we learn why Pierce died, how she met that boy and how she escaped from the Underworld. Sadly, this book was not as captivating as the tag line 'She know's what it's like to die...Now death wants her back.' which really gripped me at first as well as the beautifully artistic, black and white paper back cover. It looked like it would be a very romantic tale indeed and whilst it was, it was also a bit 'young'. Now, I know I should probably steer clear of the younger books if I want to stop this feeling I couldn't help but be drawn to this story. The book has a great plot actually, it's quite predictable and a very easy read and I like the way it deals with death as a very okay subject yet it reads like a diary. By that I mean it is a bit like reading someones mind (Well, I expect it would be anyway) and what they're thinking in that exact moment, the writing style comes across as very distracted and darts off between past and present conversations as well as the odd flashback. Whilst this is appropriate for the story it comes across as a bit incomplete to me, as if this was the first draft and it hadn't properly been edited.
I can't help but feel this was the effect Cabot wanted to achieve in this book, a confused story through the eyes of a confused and distracted girl. Abandon comes across as if the book is Pierce Oliviera herself and the writing style displays this by drifting off course. Whilst I found this easy to follow it may come across confusing to others.
The themes are very much that of it's title, how Pierce seems a lost cause to some of her family members, doctors and friends. She was abandoned by her best friend at her previous school, forced to move away with her mother to The Island of Bones and now is being hunted by some sort of evil that is not clear until the very last pages. There is an element of romance throughout the story which is enjoyable to read yet it isn't the main theme throughout the book. I would say the main theme throughout the book is the survival instinct, sinking or swimming and prey vs predator. I can't say too much about that without adding a variety of spoilers but it does make you feel like you're reading someone's life guide rather than a book.
Overall, whilst I enjoyed reading this and will probably go on to read the next, Abandon was a good read and had elements I enjoyed it was not the best I've read and is fairly easy to forget. A short, entertaining read that could have been so much more. Perhaps one to read on holiday or whilst taking a long trip but not something I would urge you to rush out and buy.
This book is best described as a dark love story. It is quite complex on a lot of the issues it covers, following the main characters near death experience, when she meets the mysterious John in the underworld. The story is a very clever re-telling of the Greek myth of Hades and Persephone and the underworld. I really liked the character Peirce and was intrigued by the dark character of John. I liked the setting of the book and the island and its strange weather and raised coffins in the grave yard sounded intriguing. The other characters in this book were not so well defined. But what would become of Pierce and the dangers she faced and whether or not her and John would finally get together did keep me reading right to the end.
First of all, can I just say how much I screamed when I came back from being on holiday and saw the proof and finished copies I got of ABANDON? Because there was some major screaming going on. I mean, Meg. Freakin'. Cabot. NEED I SAY MORE? I will read anything the woman writes and the idea of a new series makes me ~*hyperventilate~*.
BUT. It's been a week and I'm still not entirely sure on my feelings for this book. It was weird, because the thought of not enjoying one of Meg's books was just totally bizarre to me. And it's not like I didn't enjoy the book, 'cause I totally did, but I.. think maybe the expectations in my head were just a little to hard to high because of how much I've loved Cabot's other novels.
ABANDON is the first book in Meg Cabot's new YA trilogy which is a modern retelling of the Greek myth of Hades and Persephone. I love Greek mythology, which was just an added bonus to the whole 'written by Cabot' thing, and I loved the mythology in the book, but I felt that there wasn't enough of it. I would have liked to spend more time in the Underworld; it would've given the book just that little bit of extra energy to fire things up and make it stand out a bit more.
The opening was awesome. It was gripping and exciting and just generally awesome. Why? Pierce just told us that she DIED, and then came back alive again. How would you NOT want to read on? I'm not going to explain how and what happens after because you should read that for yourself. You won't be disappointed, promise.
Some of the book was narrated in the past, and I thought that it not only made the book more enthralling, but we also got the find out a little more about what happened to Pierce just after she died. It did jump around a bit though and it was a bit confusing when keeping track of what was going on.
I liked Pierce. She's different from all of Cabot's other protagonists, refreshing with a realistic voice and the way she saw things was unique and I found that fascinating. There were some moments where I thought she was being dense but it didn't happen very often and if I'm honest it just made me love her a little bit more because she had ACTUAL flaws like a REAL person. The relationship between Pierce and John had to be my favourite part of the book, by a mile. It was so original and I admit that I did snigger a lot throughout all of the conversations between them. What? I couldn't help it! ESPECIALLY the bit about how Pierce escaped from John and the Underworld. Major LOLs guys. There was no insta-love, and to be honest, it's not even very clear if there's any love on Pierce's part anyway until the last half of the book. I wasn't a huge fan of John (who is Hades, yes?) though. I wasn't sure if Cabot wanted me to stare gazingly into his eyes or run away from him! I felt like we didn't find anything out about him, and that really annoyed me. I'm guessing that this was done deliberately, and that more will be revealed about this him in the next book! Another character I really wanted to learn more about was Pierce's uncle Chris. Why was he in jail??
I have to say that although the story wasn't *everything* I wanted it to be, Cabot's writing kept me hooked throughout the whole book. The way she wrote the book make it extremely difficult to put it down. The little passages from Dante's Inferno at the beginning of each chapter were a rich, captivating addition. And something I nearly forgot to mention: the island! ABANDON takes place on Isla Huesos which is the most perfect setting EVER. It's a made-up place inspired by Key West which I've never heard of before.The spooky cemetery, the tropical weather and COFFIN NIGHT. Oh how the mysteriousness of it all compels me.
ABANDON will take most people a while to get going, I'll admit, but it's definitely worth it. Overall, I thought it was a darkly complex, addicting novel with an intense atmosphere that I'm dying to get back in.
Abandon is the first book in a trilogy by Meg Cabot. It is published by Macmillan Children's Books with a release date of 7th October and the book is 297 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC for review.
Not too long ago, Pierce died. Now she isn't dead, all Pierce is trying to do is to get on with her life and try to be as normal as possible, which doesn't seem very likely at all. How normal can one girl be after dying and taking a trip to the Underworld where everything she thought she knew, changed. Now, someone is watching her all of the time and Pierce can do nothing to escape the feeling that she will never be completely alone again.
Before moving to a new town, Pierce seemed to be right in the middle of a lot of bad things that happened but they weren't really her fault, were they? With all of that put behind her, Pierce hopes that this new start will be a new life for her. Unfortunately for Pierce, he can find her wherever she goes and wont give up. He wants her back and refuses to ever let her go. She got away once and he isn't about to let that happen again.
What I thought
I am a huge lover of all things mythology related so when I got told about this book, I knew I had to read it and soon!
I immediately felt sorry for Pierce. How could you not when she just died?! The opening to Abandon was strong and exciting and introduced me to the main character well. At times, Pierce was extremely strong and a hell of a lot braver than I would have been in her position. Because of this, I really liked her and was routing for her from the beginning. I certainly didn't want her to go through some of the things she did as she didn't deserve the stress. While Pierce started off really well, it didn't stay that way for the whole book. Sometimes it seemed like she was a bit stupid if I'm completely honest. She can see what is going on in front of her but either refuses to acknowledge something is happening or she acts in a silly way that gets her into trouble.
I really enjoyed the relationship between Pierce and John although I completely hated his name. For his character, this was such a bad choice and it was so boring and normal and John is anything but those things. The relationship was extremely real and that was why I liked it so much. There was none of this fall in love instantly rubbish. Pierce doesn't even like John in the slightest to begin with and the progression with them moved forward at a really nice pace. John, however, could have been a little more adventurous as a character and the danger in him could have been done a bit better. There is obviously a lot more to him than was revealed in this book.
This book is based on the myth of Hades/ Persephone but when we enter the underworld for the first time, it is cut way too short. I was hoping for a good chunk of the book to be set there but really, we only get to visit in passing. Spending more time in the underworld would have given the book a much darker feel and it would have added to the intensity and mystery of the story. I am hoping that as this is a trilogy, this setting will be visited again and in more detail. I think there is a lot more here that could be explored and it would help back up the rest of the story. One of the best aspects of the darker side of Abandon was the idea of death deities and the Furies. The Furies are something which I can see playing an even bigger part later on in the trilogy.
Pierce's family were characters who could have been amazing but they weren't used nearly enough. I really would have liked for her relationships with family members, especially her cousin and uncle, to have been explored a little more or for them to be featured more. In the way of secondary characters, while there are quite a few, I never really got to know much about any of them expect for one and that was a real shame. Another thing that could have made this book better overall.
So far, this book sounds like a real mixed bag but I really did like it. Yes, there were things that bugged me but overall it was extremely enjoyable and completely different from anything else I have read. Something that I really liked about Abandon was the fact that it switched between past and present. This gave me the opportunity to really get into Pierce's life and understand what she was going through from all sides. There was so much going on before and after she dies and it was a great thing to find out about these events. This way of telling the story also gave great insight into why Pierce is the way she is sometimes and why she makes certain decisions.
Abandon was my first Meg Cabot book but definitely wont be the last now. This is a trilogy which promises to be extremely exciting!